Implementing and Assessing Student Performance Skills and Learning: A Policy Role-Playing Exercise

By OReilly, Patricia | International Journal of Education, January 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Implementing and Assessing Student Performance Skills and Learning: A Policy Role-Playing Exercise


OReilly, Patricia, International Journal of Education


Abstract

Performance skills are important in all public institutions and workplaces, and they play a central role in social engagement and leadership. The ability to perform effectively and intelligently requires individual skills that improve with practice and guidance. We ask our students to perform in the classroom on a regular basis, and they are both formally and informally evaluated for this. However, we spend little time thinking about how performance could be better designed into our post-secondary education. This paper looks at the literature findings related to both performance skills and the utility of role playing and suggests ways to incorporate student performance development into public policy studies. A three-stage process which can be broken down into smaller units for easier application is provided and analyzed in the paper. It also introduces the importance of what the author calls 'performance learning' for our post-secondary social science programs, with a focus on developing better student understanding of the importance of power, discourse and informal relations in social studies. Preliminary findings from policy student groups utilizing these methods are also presented.

Keywords: performance skills; performance learning; implementing and assessing; role playing; triage; negotiation; debate; journal writing; power; discourse; informal relations; policy studies

1. Introduction

Instructors constantly strive to accurately assess students' learning, that is, the knowledge students have gained in a subject. At the post-secondary level, their memory and ability to reason are tested and examined repeatedly. However, the performance component of knowledge is often not emphasized and only weakly assessed. Performance is here referred to as the ability to orally present and/or argue or debate your ideas to or in a group. Performance skills are important in all public institutions such as the university or workplace, and they play an important role in social engagement. Acquiring the skills for public speaking and presentations is a useful and practical part of learning, but the lack of attention in the teaching and learning literature to the development and assessment of performance skills in post-secondary social science education means we are undervaluing an important element of learning - one that post-secondary students themselves value (Cavanagh, 2011). A scan of the teaching and learning literature shows very little reference to performance skills of students - as performance rather than as knowledge acquisition (Lai, 2011).

Learning through performance ought to be encouraged, assisted and rewarded. It is a reality for both the student and the graduate. In the classroom or tutorial there is always both informal and formal evaluation of students' performances. In the public sphere, students and instructors share in the fact that all adults need to "perform" in regular public engagement. There are performance skills sets that are useful to this social and political interaction. Educational institutions need to teach these skills to prepare their graduates for the workplace - especially when many full-time jobs begin as short-term contract jobs and those who "perform" best are more likely to be offered the full-time jobs. The ability to perform effectively and intelligently requires individual skills such as personal presentation and professional comportment, clear articulation, systematic revelation of one's ideas, and ease of intellectual exchange. These are the kinds of skills that tend to improve with practice and guidance, as well as help develop influence and leadership (Rackaway & Goertzen, 2008, p. 330). As instructors we sometimes forget that despite all their education, even graduate students may not have developed basic professional skills. We at the post-secondary level could learn from the training of earlier-level education teachers where classroom performance is proven to be enhanced by such non-academic factors as recognition of the role of emotions in learning (Timostsuk & Ugaste, 2012) and face-to-face performance feedback from instructors (Thurlings, Vermeulen, Kreijns, Bastianens & Stijnen, 2012). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Implementing and Assessing Student Performance Skills and Learning: A Policy Role-Playing Exercise
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.